My brothers’ room had a hole in the floor. We would pass through the hole, down a ladder and into a tiny playroom. We had to climb or slide down to exit the room. At the bottom of the slide, a trampoline with brown material protected us from rusty springs.
Mrs. Pauley is squawking again. I spring onto our porch, ducking among potted plants, just like a secret agent.
“Mom! There are squads across the street!”
At the screen door, Mom wipes her hands on her apron.
“That mess is none of your business, bubba.”
The officer shakes his head as Mrs. Pauley’s mouth moves. Our landlord is there too. I wonder why. He rubs his forehead, checks his watch.
They guide her away from the house.
“Forty years!” Mrs. Pauley squawks, “Forty years!”
Her cane falls. I compromise my secret agent status, dashing to catch her, but she crumples.
yes i have some worries, anxieties and fears starting with the dark and strangers with slow walks – am i lonely or just alone – will i have enough time – she’s going to say this and then i’ll say that who am i kidding neither one of us will say anything let me think about that again – that noise sounded creepy – my shoulders are tight – where will i go from here – i feel a bit sick – what if so-and-so dies – did i feed the dog – what is he thinking – i’m wasting my time – do i drink too much read too much work out too much eat too much ugh i do not clean enough – i hope he’ll be home soon he hasn’t called – that ice is going to freeze around the gutter – the garage door might not go up – will the sage bush survive this summer – help me remember this moment – stop waiting around get off the couch – ah i forgot to do that today i feel tired i will do it tomorrow i really should do it today no i’ll do it tomorrow – i’ve worn this outfit already what will she think – who cares stop caring – this looks just fine – worries anxieties and fears i have a few more but will head for the door.
What are some of your worries, anxieties and fears?
My car groans as I turn into an empty and winding drive-through around 8:30 on a Wednesday night. An amiable, male voice filters through the speaker.
“Welcome to Starbucks. How may I help you?”
“Can I have one Sausage Breakfast Sandwich, please?”
“Let me check if we have any left.”
I wait some seconds, considering my coffee order. The speaker clicks.
“Do you want one or do you want nine? We have nine sandwiches left. You can have them all.”
His playful question with a serious tone made me laugh with my dorkiest of laughs. Mouth open, teeth showing, nose scrunched kind of dorkiness. A regularly programmed thought snapped to attention: He is funny slash nice. I wonder what he looks like. I hope he heard a smile as I lean towards the speaker.
Forget the Grammy’s. You are now eligible for a superior accolade: being included on The Most Important Songs of Miss Early Bird’s Life. With so many contenders and so few spots, choosing a few of you has been an emotionally draining task. Before revealing the results and in hopes of sparing any hurt feelings or controversy among you, I’d like to provide background regarding the selection process for Songs.
“That’s hibiscus! And that’s hibiscus! That’s hibiscus too,” I tell my husband. Pouring onto the skinny, two-lane highway are bushes bursting with these pink, yellow, red and white flowers. Amidst car exhaust and reckless pedestrians, hibiscus stays wide open and sturdy, begging the sun and the bees with their loveliness. The bright orange stigma among the petals seem phallic to me. I assure myself that they seem this way to the other honeymooners as well.